Archived Story

1,380 customers lost power in Freeborn County

Published 9:10am Thursday, June 19, 2014

Power went out this morning for 1,380 customers of Alliant Energy this morning when a bolt of lightning struck a power pole on the west side of the city. The company’s website earlier stated 2,700 were out, but it was an overestimate.

The pole held transmission and distribution lines, a spokesman said, and the bolt managed to hit a lower distribution line and avoid the higher transmission lines. Many businesses operated on half power until the line was repaired around 9:10 a.m.

City officials have urged city residents to limit water usage however possible as the city’s sanitary sewer system is experiencing high flows due to the persistent rain this week, according to a news release.  Residents are also urged to make sure sump pumps are pumping outdoors. It is against city ordinance to run sump pump discharges to your floor drains or the sewer during this time of year.

The Albert Lea Utilities Department has encountered loss of power at several lift stations around town. Generators and mobile pumps have been deployed and city staff is doing everything possible to keep the system from backing up further.